The Devil Inside
Directed by William Brent Bell
Yet another in a long line of "found footage" horror films, The Devil Inside simply doesn't provide enough scares or atmosphere to pass as an effective horror movie.
I'm unsure exactly how I feel about this movie. Plot-wise, there is nothing original or particularly weak about this film. It tells a story, and despite a few flaws, I find this particular element perfectly acceptable. I must applaud its lack of reliance on simple jump-scares to provide thrills, but its inability to fill this void with any other horror devices make it slow and without any real payoff. Perhaps the intention was to leave the audience feeling more unsettled than startled, but the subject of exorcisms has been portrayed far more effectively in the past, and the result is much less disturbing here than we have already seen many times before.
As with most movies in this faux-documentary sub-genre, the camerawork is intentionally dizzying and often out of focus. But unlike other films shot in this style (e.g., The Blair Witch Project, Paranormal Activity, and Cloverfield) this movie has no excuse for being this poorly filmed. Instead of being supposedly shot by regular people with cameras who happen to be documenting the events as they transpire (as was the case in the aforementioned movies) they try to convince us that the cameraman is, in fact, a professional documentary filmmaker -- one who amazingly doesn't understand how to properly focus, zoom, or hold a camera steady.
In all honesty, nothing about this movie is aided by this presentation technique. Their insistence that these events actually took place is a joke, and its lack of scares of any kind or atmospheric tension is not enhanced at all by implementing this gimmick, and instead makes you wonder why it was shot as a "found footage" film at all. The end result is dizzying and not at all true to the nature of any professional documentary I've ever seen. This movie would have been equally (if not more) effective as a traditional film.
In conclusion, I don't feel this is nearly as bad as many people make it out to be. No, it's not particularly effective in its thrills and the camerawork is headache-inducing, but the story is semi-interesting and the running time is relatively short and doesn't drag on for too long. It may feel like a retread of other superior films, but if it's a crime to be unoriginal, all new movies would be considered guilty.